A wardrobe of Whisky Blog - tasting notes, collection and best shops for buying whisky online A wardrobe of Whisky Blog - tasting notes, collection and best shops for buying whisky online
Login | Register
“Because you can't buy happiness... but you can buy whisky and that's pretty much the same thing”

Ten Must-Have Whiskies that We can still buy

By Miguel in Featured , Whisky

We are almost in Christmas so what better way of celebrating with friends and family that sharing a dram or two of a great whisky that won’t empty your pockets? This is a list of the Ten Best whiskies you can buy ( in my opinion! ) for the money. In fact, I have a bottle of all of them at home.

whisky-for-chrismtas
(Photo: Markus Reinhardt / Flickr)

So let’ see the list. If money isn’t a constrain, I would also check this List of great whiskies and if definitively you don’t care about money this other one. The other 99% please keep reading with me :) #expensivestuff

1. Glendronach 15 years old

So the first of the list is a sherry monster that is around £40. You can’t get anything better for the money… unless you are thinking of a Glenfarclas 15yo… quite close.

“Great sherry dram! Love it!”

91
Glendronach 15 year Revival
Glendronach Revival is the culmination of nearly a year's hard work by the distillery's new owners, who have done such a marvellous job at Benriach.

This Oloroso-matured Revival single malt whisky has already received a whopping 92 points from the highly-esteemed Serge Valentin at Whiskyfun, who compared it to Macallan Gran Reserva!

One of the best sherried whiskies I have had the pleasure of drinking. Run! Buy one!

This dram has a tawny-like color.

Nose (91): more than average. honey, nuts, citrus, leather, spices, cinnamon. Good sherry nose!

Palate (92): powerful, oily. honey, nuts, citrus, spices, leather. Maybe 40% and 15yo.

Finish (91): longer than average. honey, leather.

So based on other whiskies I have already tasted I rate this Glendronach 15 year Revival with 91 points over 100.

Buy this bottle at

Save money when you buy Single Malt Whisky online. Check for the best prices from best online shops below:


2. Ardbeg 10 years old

What would be of a list of great whiskies without an Ardbeg? I personally prefer the higher strength Uigeadail but this one is a solid fail-proof single malt. I love it.

“Super solid peated whisky! If you like peated, have an Ardbeg”

90
Ardbeg 10 year old
Ardbeg Ten Years Old is a very special bottling for the Ardbeg distillery.

This Islay single malt is the first non-chill filtered whisky in the Ardbeg range. Chill filtering isn't a bad thing, in fact it created real consistency of product when the whisky industry was a little more `hap-hazard` than it is today. Ardbeg Ten Years Old is whisky with none of the goodness taken out and as good as straight from the cask.

If you enjoyed this Ardbeg, you really need to have a cask strength Ardbeg that it is only slightly more expensive. A no brainer if you ask me.

This dram has a white wine-like color.

Nose (90): more than average. peat, citrus, motor oil, earth, pepper.

Palate (90): powerful, oily. peat, citrus, earth, pepper, vanilla, coffee.

Finish (89): longer than average. peat, citrus.

So based on other whiskies I have already tasted I rate this Ardbeg 10 year old with 90 points over 100.

Buy this bottle at

Save money when you buy Single Malt Whisky online. Check for the best prices from best online shops below:


3. Springbank 15 years old

This is the only one I don’t have (yet!). It is a really nice Springbank.

“Good Springbank but my heart belongs to the great Springbank CV.”

88
Springbank 15 year
A 15 year old from the Springbank distillery with plenty of sherry notes and spice, dried fruits and nuts.

Distilled at Springbank distillery in Campbeltown, this single malt whisky is the return of a classic.

It is very nice, but I personally prefer the Springbank CV bottling.

This dram has a gold-like color.

Nose (88): more than average. honey, citrus, vanilla, apples, floral.

Palate (89): smooth, powerful, oily. honey, peat, citrus, vanilla, pepper, floral, wood.

Finish (87): longer than average. honey, floral, smoke.

So based on other whiskies I have already tasted I rate this Springbank 15 year with 88 points over 100.

Buy this bottle at

Save money when you buy Single Malt Whisky online. Check for the best prices from best online shops below:


4. Amrut Fusion

Indian whisky?! Are you crazy?! Are you nuts?! Give it a try and then you can send me the money and the thank you letters ;). These guys really know how to make good whisky.

“Woo! Serious stuff! It is so much better that the last I tried. Scots be scared!”

92
Amrut Fusion
This high-strength Amrut Fusion gets its name from the fact that it uses two barleys: Indian and Scottish - with the latter being peated for good measure.

A really excellent mouthfeel and palate combining oak, smoke, dark fruit, mocha and high-cocoa dark chocolate. Delicious stuff.

This Amrut was the 3rd best whisky in the world in Jim Murray's Whisky Bible. Definitively something not to miss!

This dram has a amber-like color.

Nose (92): strong. honey, peat, fruits, a little nuts, spices, vanilla, raisins, cocoa. Better nose than the standard Amrut. It is more complex and darker, like a Tim Burton film.

Palate (93): smooth, powerful, oily. honey, peat, fruits, nuts, raisins, vanilla, wood, citrus.

Finish (92): longer than average. honey, wood, spices, nuts.

So based on other whiskies I have already tasted I rate this Amrut Fusion with 92 points over 100.

Buy this bottle at

Save money when you buy Single Malt Whisky online. Check for the best prices from best online shops below:


5. Lagavulin 16 years old

Another peated dram. If you are not sure, just get this one. You can’t go wrong with Lagavulin. There are batches that are more sherried and others more peated but overall it is a quite enjoyable whisky. A MUST-HAVE!

“This Lagavulin is a superb Islay whisky with its amazing peat complexity. Really one of the best bang for the buck single malts out there.”

92
Lagavulin 16 year
Full amber in color with adominant sherry nose. Full-bodied yet smooth. The dryness is offset by the sweetness of the sherry character. Salty notes and a huge powerful peaty finish.

Lagavulin 16 years old is perhaps the best daily dram single malt whisky out there. You will not find anything so good for that price, as long as you like peat in your whisky.

A connoisseur's malt, and with consistently high marks from Michael Jackson.

If you have the chance, try the 12 years old expression that has been aged exclusively in bourbon barrels. Simply delicious.

This dram has a cooper-like color.

Nose (91): more than average. peat, honey, peaches, vanilla, citrus, pepper.

Palate (92): powerful, oily. peat, honey, citrus, vanilla, peaches, espresso.

Finish (92): longer than average. peat, honey, peaches, spices.

So based on other whiskies I have already tasted I rate this Lagavulin 16 year with 92 points over 100.

Buy this bottle at

Save money when you buy Single Malt Whisky online. Check for the best prices from best online shops below:


6. Balvenie 12 yers old Doublewood

If there is an affordable dram that has my heart ( and my wallet ) it is Balvenie 12yo. It is deliciously sherried with a lovely vanilla taste.

“Lovely sherried whisky with a nice amount of nuts and biscuits in its nose. I have really enjoyed this one.”

91
Balvenie 12 year Doublewood
The Balvenie Doublewood Single Malt Scotch Whisky is a 12 year old single malt which gains its distinctive character from being matured in two woods.

During its period of maturation The Balvenie Doublewood is transferred from a traditional oak whisky cask to a first fill Spanish oak sherry cask.

Each stage lends different qualities to the resulting single malt - the traditional casks, having previously held bourbon, soften and add character, whilst the sherry wood brings depth and fullness of flavor.

This is the most basic bottle from Balvenie and still awesome!
TODO: Check if strength is 40% or 0%

This dram has a amber-like color.

Nose (91): more than average. nuts, honey, citrus, toffee, biscuits. Smells like a fino sherried matured whisky. Very nice nose.

Palate (91): powerful, oily. honey, floral, citrus, nuts, wood, spices.

Finish (90): longer than average. honey, nuts, wood.

So based on other whiskies I have already tasted I rate this Balvenie 12 year Doublewood with 91 points over 100.

Buy this bottle at

Save money when you buy Single Malt Whisky online. Check for the best prices from best online shops below:


7. Aberlour A’bunadh

Good luck finding this one! As soon as Malt Maniacs awarded it a medal it fly off the shelves. Awesome whisky for a ridiculous price.

“As usual a pleasure. The biggest surprise with A'Bunadh is that there are no surprises. I love this whisky”

91
Aberlour a'Bunadh Batch 45
Batch 45 of Aberlour's popular NAS whisky, A'Bunadh.
Bottled at 60.2% and heavy on the sherry, as always. This is an excellent value-for-money sherry beast!

This dram has a tawny-like color.

Nose (90): more than average. honey, citrus, raisins, wood, vanilla, cinnamon, mango.

Palate (92): powerful, oily. honey, leather, wood, vanilla, tobacco, citrus, cocoa.

Finish (91): longer than average. honey, tobacco, vanilla.

So based on other whiskies I have already tasted I rate this Aberlour a'Bunadh Batch 45 with 91 points over 100.

8. Bruichladdich The Laddie 10

Subtle, lovely, delicate. Much like a lady you will also love the Laddie.

“Superb whisky!. Not very peated with just a touch of delicious sherry aromas. Love it!.”

91
Bruichladdich 10 The Laddie Ten
The very first 10 year old whisky to be wholly distilled, aged and bottled by Bruichladdich's new owners. In many ways this marks the beginning of the new era, and this will be snapped at by connoisseurs and collectors. This was bottled on the 11th September 2011. A true milestone bottling.

This dram has a amber-like color.

Nose (91): more than average. peaches, peat, honey, nuts, citrus.

Palate (91): smooth, powerful, oily. peaches, peat, vanilla, honey, tobacco, milk chocolate, wood.

Finish (90): longer than average. peat, wood, salt, cocoa.

So based on other whiskies I have already tasted I rate this Bruichladdich 10 The Laddie Ten with 91 points over 100.

Buy this bottle at

Save money when you buy Single Malt Whisky online. Check for the best prices from best online shops below:


9. Compass Box Peat Monster

Pure Peat awesomeness bottled into a 70cl bottle. I love The Peat Monster, and if you can afford the 10th anniversary edition is fantastic

“Superb whisky from Compass Box. This batch was created using malt from Laphroaig and Ardmore although I swear that has a touch of Ardbeg both on nose and taste. Love it”

90
Compass Box The Peat Monster
Compass Box has created a range of incredible artisan vatted, oops, I mean, blended malt whiskies.

This Peat Monster is a top-quality vatting of the peated Speysider Ardmore with some choice Islay malt: sometimes Caol Ila sometimes Laphroaig, Peat Monster is never less than excellent. Pitch-perfect balance and delicious chewy complexity.

This is the best value whisky I have ever had. Even forgeting the price it is a whisky so good that stand over whiskies ten times more expensive. If you like peated whiskies of course :)

This dram has a white wine-like color.

Nose (89): more than average. peat, citrus, honey, salt, motor oil.

Palate (90): powerful, oily. peat, earth, honey, citrus, spices, vanilla, wood, coffee.

Finish (90): longer than average. peat, citrus.

So based on other whiskies I have already tasted I rate this Compass Box The Peat Monster with 90 points over 100.

Buy this bottle at

Save money when you buy Blended Malt Whisky online. Check for the best prices from best online shops below:


10. Kilkerran WIP 5 Bourbon wood

Another crack and it is still on the way…

“Quite good whisky with an excellent bouquet. A real bargain for £34. I am quite happy of having bought one when I could”

91
Kilkerran Work In Progress 5th Release - Bourbon Wood

This dram has a fino-like color.

Nose (90): more than average. honey, citrus, smoke, wood, vanilla, orange zest.

Palate (91): powerful, oily. honey, peat, oranges, spices, vanilla, cinnamon, wood, coffee.

Finish (91): longer than average. honey, spices, oranges.

So based on other whiskies I have already tasted I rate this Kilkerran Work In Progress 5th Release - Bourbon Wood with 91 points over 100.

Miguel says…

This is my list of the 10 drams that everyone should have at hand. Now you can use your J&B to properly clean windows. :)

sat-guaranteed

And as always, satisfaction guaranteed or your money back! :)

What dram would you include on the list? What would you remove? It has been really hard to reduce it to just 10 drams…



Your comments